Searchin For Siddhartha

The stress was near unbearable. Like the whole world was ganging up and throwing Bibles at me. “Have you heard the word of the Lord?” well if its just one word than probably, I’ve heard lots of words. “Have you found Jesus?” Jesus? Fuck man I still can’t find Waldo! “God see’s everything, he is always around.” And so are stalkers. Come on everybody stop trying to hide death and destruction behind worn out clichés. Shit happens, I’ll be okay. But their not through, not by a fucking long shot. “God has his reasons” “Put your faith in God” “God has a higher plan”, “God moves in mysterious ways” (I think U2 wrote a song about this one). In Go we trust. Wait, strike that one. Here’s the #1 cliché I heard “She’s one of Gods angels now.” How many angels does an all powerful, all seeing, allmighty stalker need? Please, let me search for my own sanity. Then a book fell from heaven! Okay, it fell from under my coat as I was attempting to shoplift it, but regardless, it fell and the title caught my eye. Siddhartha!
That was way back in 19 yada yada when I was only 14 year old. I lost my Grandma who was my best friend and the only adult in the world who got me. Everyone knew how much she meant to me and they all tried to pacify the tragic event by using religion. But I had already regurgitated all religious ideals and tenets by then. I didn’t want to hear about God, Jesus ,Jehovah, or even Zeus at that time. But this book by Herman Hesse unfolded for me and became a life changer. Ever since I read it I have been on a search for Siddhartha.
Where has that search led me? Actually it led me to myself. That’s where I found what I was missing. I studied with the born again Christians, who back then were actually called “Jesus Freaks” What can I say, after the older generation started calling us freaks we collectively decided to let our freak flags fly. Everythiong was a freak. Hippie freaks, weed freaks, acid freaks, juice freaks, pillheads. Pillhead? Wait, okay not EVERYTHING was a freak. Anyway, a friend of mine was a Jehova’s Witness and his Mom taught bible class on Wednesays. After my buds Dad and older brother died in a car accient a bunch of us went to those classes to keep an eye on her for our friend. So I had learned about all kinds of christian practices. A new Bible called “Good news For Modern Man” was all the rage. What struck me was the term modern. If it really was modern it would be for all people kind, not just man. So in the long run it was just a bullshit approach at involving us in religion
Next I started to read about Budhism because of that book. I really dug the philosophies, but the whole become a monk and burn candle thing was a bit much for me. Besides, I wanted a religion with flexibility, and while it seemed loose on the outside it was centered around four Noble Truths. I don’t want truth, I can’t handle the truth. All I want is freedom of my spirit. But I will keep some of the Buddhist ideals with me, the ones that I felt in my heart. That’s when I learned about existentialism. I was already an Atheist by definition, and as much as I loved the teachings of the Illustrious Buddha I wasn’t ready to conform to the structures someone else’s religion. With existentialism I don’t have to. Through that I learned that all religion is in our own hearts. And my heart is flexible. These days not much on my body is flexible so I dig that! I don’t have to go anywhere special on Saturday or Sunday, I don’t have to pray, confess, or sing songs that aren’t rock songs, (BTW, if there is an all powerful one I’d expect t Christian rock bands to sound a lot better), I don’t have to listen to some dude tell me about how I should live my life, or read me poems about God, no collections, wafers, or wine. Well if it was a nice Cabernet maybe I’d go, but please! All I need to do for my religion is to meditate to clear my head, and to be true to myself.
Now if people ask me am I religious, I say in that I am a creature of habit and do many things religiously, yes, but as far as god, no . I am however, extremely spiritual. That normally confounds them. “If you don’t believe how can you be spiritual?” I have beliefs. I don’t feel a need to worship anyone or anything to attain acceptance. I am part of an amazing universe and I appreciate it every chance I get. Am part of an amazing, if sometimes ignorant species which I also appreciate. I get to love, enjoy music, so all kinds of amazing things and don’t have to answer to the big guy. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to do the right thing, I just do it. I try to never fuck anyone over, and most importantly, I make it a point to never, under any circumstances, judge another person. That’s religions job.
Express yourself, free your mind, live your life…..PEACE

Busted, Disgusted, and Can’t Be Trusted (the consequence)

Be wise and don’t wise of to a southern cop. Especially if he’s your jailor

The Brutal Truth
This was no Sunday stroll these two backwoods hooligans planned to take me on. As I was escorted down one corridor I noticed a cigarette machine with a paperback book on top. Thinking I may need some reading material over the next who knows how many days, I grabbed the book as we went passed without the goon squad seeing it. We made many turns and I was confused about where I was until we stopped at a door that said “Interrogation Room” If I was confused before, I was completely perplexed now. Not sure what interrogating planned but I h they had a nervous feeling about their interpretation of the word interrogate. As it turned out, having nothing to interrogate was the plan. Jimbo opened the door and led me inside. It was a relatively empty room. Four chairs, three on one side of a small wood table, and one lonely chair on the other. It was apparent which one was mine and Jimbo led me right over to it and signaled for me to sit down. Nervously, I sat. It was Billy who spoke as Jimbo moved the other chairs and the table to the corner. “Boy, we need to git an unnerstandin’ tween us here. Firstly, I done never wanna here ya call any of us law officers turn-key again. That get through all that hair into yer brain boy?” With serious alarm I shook my head yes. I was in a very precarious position and was quickly weighing my best options. He stared at me with razor eyes and said “I caint hear you boy, I asked if yew understood!” I sheepishly let out a soft ”yessir.” I was taken aback at how wimpy it sounded. Even the echoing on the near empty room was scoffing at me. Jimbo lifted his right foot up in the air and brought it down hard. He kicked me with his “County issue” stiff leather boot. He had reached up higher than I would have thought he could manage with his roly poly body and landed the heel of that boot directly in the muscle portion of my left bicep. Both me and the chair were caught off guard (pun intended) and went sailing across the floor in search of the wall. My head hit something hard, and I knew I had found the target. A flash of pain and a second of darkness warned me a major headache would accompany me later. Jimbo walked over to my shaking body and got about an inch away from my ear. “He asked you if you got that boy? You lose yer tongue or sumpin?” He didn’t need to scream so loud, what with me being a half inch away and all, but he did feel a need to cover my ear in spit as he yelled. Now I was at a horrible disadvantage and needed to react quick to win these guys over and get out of here. I looked him in the eye and said clearly “Yes sir, I got it. I will not call you turn-key ever again.” It took about all the strength I could muster to say it. Billy was picking me up and Jimbo assisted the chair. “Now that’s much better boy” Billy was now speaking with an air of superiority that he enjoyed immensely. “Sit back down now boy, we don’t want you falling off your chair agin y‘all might hurt yerseff” Big bad Jimbo leaned down to my dry ear and began to talk in a half whisper. “Let me tell ya how this is gonna go here yankee boy. We dun like no strangers comin roun here causin no trouble. We don like you, but y’all gonna be here a while so you need to git the rules straight. Theys pretty simple. Rule one, we are always in charge and you nevah nevah talk back to any one of us.” I was nodding my head in agreement, but before I could get a word out, Billy Boy had whacked my left calf with his baton so hard I felt fire surging up my leg and go numb in seconds. First pins and needles then my calf was throbbing. Jimbo looked over on the floor saw the book that took flight when me and the chair went airborne. With a mocking disgusted look he picked it up. “Boy, now what the Hell is this? Lookie here Billy, hippie boy done stole someone’s book.” He shook his head like the condescending asshole he was, “ Now see , hairbag, this is just the kind of thing we wants to avoid. Where’n the hell y’all get this?” I gently shook my head trying to think of an answer that would appease him, but to no avail. “Nevernin boy, it ain’t matter no how.” He placed the book up to my temple, pulled back his baton to hit the book so hard my head snapped back. A new pain shot through my head. Throbbing, burning, and pounding like I had never experienced before. The chair and I both tumbled to the ground again. Billy walked over to where I had fallen, and stepped hard on my calf. “Is this the spot where you hurt yaseff boy?” I felt throbbing all over, in my leg, my head, and now in my stomach. When I looked up Jimbo was standing over me with his baton by his side and a sadistic smile on his face. I felt nausea whirling up and feared if I puked it would just piss them off more. It snuck up into my mouth and I clenched it shut and swallowed. It was even worse than the mornings year old oatmeal. I was having trouble breathing which is when I realized I had just been whacked in the stomach with his baton. Now my solar plexus and ribs ha joined in the misery. My head was spinning and my eyes had teared up and I everything looked blurry. Jimbo picked me up and locked my arms behind me. Billy took the book I had found, and placed on my temple again, and whacked the book again. He moved the book to various places on my face and continued the beatings. “See boy, you did us a favor with this here book y’all stole. Ain’t gonna be no marks on yer face, but I bet its gonna hurt for a long time comin’ You ain‘t gonna steal no more books, are ya?.” Jimbo sat me down in the chair, or should I say threw me into the chair where I collapsed in pain and exhaustion. I could hardly breathe, and barely speak. I looked up through the tears in my eyes and watched them parading around with ugly satisfied looks on both of their faces. The beatings continued for what seemed like an hour, but was more likely only five or ten minutes. They applied the book and baton combination to various body parts, mostly concentrating on my face and arms. It was accompanied with their hideous sadistic laughter. They were seriously enjoying it but I was beginning to fade in and out of consciousness and began numbing up. I swallowed another mouthful of vomit for fear of worse beatings. My entire body was throbbing and aching, and Billy got right in my face again. “So I think we have us an unnerstandin’ here, right boy?” He pointed the baton to my face and smacked it with his other hand. The hard wood made a direct hit to my nose and I could immediately feel blood trickling down my face. It took every ounce of strength to just nod yes. Satisfied, Billy stood up and smiled at Jimbo. “I think he unnerstans Jimbo. Maybe we should get this nice young law breaker something to drink, he looks like he has a mighty thirst. Maybe you better fill out a report bout how he got into a fight with another inmate. Use Chester this time” They both laughed. Billy left the room and Jimbo picked up the paperback and handed it to me. “Keep it son, you earned it. Now don’t y’all go nowhere ya hear me?” I looked up at him but everything was still blurry. I knew he was very close because I could smell his stale smoke breath. He grabbed my pony tail and lifted me off the chair, put his forearm to my chest and flung me as hard as he could into the wall. I collapsed and just laid on the floor, not sure if I couldn’t move or just didn’t want to. He threw what I hoped was a clean handkerchief at me and told me to clean myself up. I heard the door close and sensed I was alone. I think I cried as the blood from my nose was thinned out with tears.
After abut a half an hour I scrambled to stand up but fell again. I couldn’t put any pressure on left leg without feeling intense pain. I managed to climb onto the chair and rubbed my leg. My head and face took turns pounding out a tribal beat. I could actually feel the blood coursing through my veins as though my defense system was an ER on full alert. Blood to the injured areas, STAT! Blood rushing to my injure face, my swollen forehead, and my still throbbing leg. I was breathing hard and the dried blood on my nose made it more difficult. My ribs and my stomach hurt. I had been worked over real good, like Cool Hand Luke. Now a puddle of crying beat up excuse of a man was sure his street creds were all but over.
The door opened up and it was Jimbo again. “C’mon boy, it’s time to take you home.” He walked up close and stepped hard on my foot with his fat ass digging in his leather heel. A twist for good measure then a sarcastic smile and wink. Billy walked in with a bottle of water and threw it at me. “See boy, we takes good care of our crimy-nals in these parts. I sure hopes we got us a good unerstanding now.“ They each got on one side of me and basically carried me out of the interrogation room and back down some more corridors until we reached the general population of the jail. I was hobbling along limping and bent over like a captured animal. It was as if they were parading me around all proud of how tough they were to beat up a prisoner and making a statement to the others about who is in charge. They walked me to my cell and tossed me towards my bed. I plopped down on my mattress. They left and I just laid down and started to re-live the beating. Everything hurt. My face felt swollen and my spirit had been broken. I was barely conscience of my surroundings, but I heard noises all around me. After about a half hour, I fell asleep and dreamed. I had one of the most vivid dreams of my life. I dreamed I was going to a big mansion somewhere in the sky, and wondered if I was dying. The song “Spirit in the Sky” played over and over in the dream. I was in and out of lucidity for the rest of the day and night. Tomorrow would be another day

Baby Baby, Where Did Our Love Go?

This is a very serious and sad excerpt of a story mostly funny. It’s a peek into the dark side of my hero’s sad life
You’re Cheatin’ Heart
Kayla was sound asleep, and on any other night I would have been asleep too, knowing Tina would come home after she was done with her shift. First maybe have a drink or two before coming home. I worked in many a restaurant and a few shots after service was common. But this wasn’t any other night. This was the night I was confronting Tina. I had been relatively certain she had been cheating on me, but now I had some hard to dispute evidence. Her best friend and normal excuse for being late called looking for Tina a few hours ago, and on the counter sat a receipt signed by her from the Miller Edge Motor Inn. I laid in wait in the darkness as my anger percolated. When I heard her car pull up a rush of adrenaline churned in my gut then gathered in my head. I was shaking. This was it!
The second she walked through the door my fears were confirmed. Her face wore an all telling satisfied smile. The kind of smile I remembered seeing so often after our nights at the Jade Feather before we were married. That freshly laid smile. It cut deep into my heart. Here it goes. “So where ya been babe?” Tina was startled, caught off guard not expecting me to be awake. I could feel the nervousness in her lie. “Oh, Joanne and I stopped of for a drink and it turned into 4 or five. We had some late customers and Jo and Jacob are having problems again.” I took a deep breath, anger growing by the second. “That’s really odd because Joanne called about two hours ago to remind you that you promised to cover her shift tomorrow.” The silence sat for an extremely uneasy four seconds as Tina began to attempt a backtrack. “Oh, did I say Joanne, I meant” I cut her off instantly” Stop the bullshit Tina! Stop it right now. You weren’t with Joanne or any other work friend. But I think I can guess where you were. More than likely at the Millers Edge Inn. It seems like that’s where you like to go, at least according to that receipt that was in your coat pocket.” I held the receipt out tyo her in a shakey hand. My body responding involuntarily to the ssour mix of anger, nervousness, and anxiety. She just stared, eyes wider than I thought possible. Busted! She had nowhere to take it. She looked down at the floor. Her face was flushed blueish red from the guilt and the sex drugs and alcohol that were more than likely involved. She raised her head, eyes now pathetic an pooling up with tears. At the same time they were profoundly sad eyes. It must have taken all she had to issue a sad mumble of “I-I’m sorry JT. I’m so so sorry.” A sniffle for an exclamation point.
“You’re sorry? Sorry about what Tina? Sorry that you’ve been fucking somebody behind my back or sorry you got caught?” My face must have been bright crimson red because I could feel rivulets of livid red blood cells swirling around my face. I wasn’t done yet. “ I have been faithful, all the time faithful. We had a fucking pact Tina, we’ve both been fucked over before and swore we would never o that to each other.“ The next question asked itself because I son’t remember thinking it. Who is it? Who are you sleeping with? Someone from the kitchen? A waiter? Who the hell are you fucking?” She paid no attention to the fact that it was more a demand than a question, Through her tears she softly asked, “JT please, does it really matter?” Actually a fair question but for some reason I felt I had to know. “It makes a difference to me, Tina, me your husband. You‘re partner for life!!” Tina looked up at me and streams of tear had begun sliding down her cheeks. “Please JT, don’t make me, it isn’t important. I ssis it and I’m sorry. I don’t know what you want me to say.” Head still burning hot with anger my voice was getting a bit too loud. “I’ll tell you what I want you to say, I want you to say it didn’t happen. But it’s too late for that now isn’t it Tina. So I guess I’ll just have to settle on knowing who it is I can blame for ruining my life.” My sarcastic tone was over the top and I regretted the moment I used it, but fuck man, I was pissed! She looked at me defiantly and just spat out his name. “Johnny” A Louisville Slugger of shock cracked me dead in the temple. Sent resounding waves of disbelief across my skull. My head throbbed with a combination of bewilderment and almost uncontrollable anger. Johnny?! Fucking Johnny boy, the love of her life before we started dating. The very dude I had taken her from, who abused her, calledd her names, and cheated on her right under her nose!. The mother fucker she cried to me about for weeks after they broke up. The piece of shit that treated her like dirt for years. I couldn’t breathe. I was aware of how loud it had gotten and didn‘t want Kayla to wake up. Choked with incredulousness my voice sounded squeezed .“Johnny. You mean Johnny boy the fuckhead that you hate? That fucking Johnny? I can’t believe this! How the fuck did this happen?” Now her tears were in full flight and forcing their way through her finger. Tina was shaking visibly and breathing in uneven pants. “It doesn’t matter.” Fury was at an all time high. “Stop saying it doesn’t matter. It does matter. It really does fucking matter!”
After a deluge of wet sobs Tina attempted to explain herself. “I went out for a drink with the girls after work last week and Johnny was there. He came over and we started talking. Just talking, nothing else. He wanted to tell me how sorry he was and wanted to be friends again, we had a few drinks, one thing led to another and I-I don’t know. It just happened.” I was still in stun mode and the anger needed to escape in the worst way. “It just happened?” I was pissed and I could hear Tina sobbing heavily. “Something like that doesn’t just happen Tina. That’s bullshit. You have to know that something might happen. You say to yourself, this is a bad situation, this is wrong. This asshole fucked me over an now I’m talking to him. I can’t do this cuz I’m married. I’m happily married and….” The Louisville Slugger struck again, this time filled with reality. “Wait! Shit! Oh my godd no!? Oh no no no. Oh shit Tina. You’re not happy are you!? You were hoping. Oh Jeu god you were looking for someone or something that would free you out of ….of life with me. An unhappy like with me! What about Kayla? Are you unhappy about Kayla too?” Now Tina’s face looked distorted. The sockets of her eyes were sunken and wrinkled, deep reddish brown from so much rubbing, Soaked through and through from an all out cry. Every pore of her face looked sad and defeated. He looked old to me for the first time. Oh my fucking god id she hate me that much? I was consumed by a combination of anger, betrayal, guilt, sadness and deep self loathing. My old pal, the demon of self hate. How I hated myself so back a few years. Back when I told Carrie about my theory that everyone that gets to know me either dies or leaves. That’s probably why I got so fucked up all the time, did so many drugs. Fuck man, even I couldn’t stand being near myself. Why should Tina feel any different. The years of confidence building collapsed in a single instant. I was crushed and beginning to understand it was my fault. But Tina was clearly blaming herself too. Neither of us were able to talk. All we could do was shake and cry and sniffle. How did it come to this? I poured myself a huge glass of straight vodka from the freezer. It was half gone in a matter of seconds, and being a half empty type of guy at this moment I filled back up, then emptied it.
We sat in silence for about ten minutes until Tina found the courage to talk. “Now what JT? Where so we go from here?” I thought for a few seconds, said ”I don’t know Tee, I just don’t know.” My voice had taken on an eerie even tone and I almost didn’t recognize it. “I think I need to go home to Centerlawn and think things through. And I think you need to think too. I guess we both need to figure out what we want. But I guess this is over” Surprisingly Solomonic. Tina just stared at me with a profound sorrow in her eyes so deep it made her look totally detached from life. “I am so so sorry JT. Its all my fault. I don’t even no where to begin.” I put my finger up to her lips, “Shh, there plenty of blame to go around. I’ve been so consumed with work and, fuck man I don’t know what. I-I just never saw this coming. We both fucked up. Maybe we should never have been, I don’t kmow. Like I said, I need to think shit through. I gotta split. I’m going home to my Moms, I need to think. I’ll be back to see Kayla after work tomorrow.” I pounded down another glass of vodka and took what was left of the bottle. I could hear Tina sobbing loudly in the background as I walked out the door. I took one last look at our home, our once happy home and could see Kayla’s window. Her parents had just become the monsters under her bed. I thought about Kayla and broke down and cried again. Not a soft cry, not even a cry like I had when my brother James died. This was a deep guttural cry with an ugly darkness. I have lost Tina, I lost my dignity, and worst of all I lost Kayla. All in the blink of an eye. I blew Kayla’s window a kiss through my tears, wiped off my soaked cheeks and took a seep breath. I got in my car and left. I wondered if I was ever coming back.

Arose….. by any other name

The third day he rose from the dead and the world had a new category to lump people into. Christians. Oh vey, it wasn’t enough to have Jews Hindis, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, Friend, Romans, and Countrymen. Religion is like Jell-O, there’s always room for more. And damn man, did they ever torture that dude. The stuck a sticker bush full of pricks (not to mention the pricks that whipped him first) on his head, handed him the 200 pound lumber they would nail him to and said “carry THIS J-Man!” So he had to carry his death instrument down the street while people yelled hit at him like, Go back to Nazareth carpenter boy, and Who da king now bitches” No doubt some real asshole prolly yelled “Bring your own nails woodworker!” Treated the dude like total shit, then nailed him angled at southern exposure so the sun would burn slower. Rude Roman sadists! Anyway, they took hiss dead carcass an stuck it in a cave. Three days later, GONE! Did Mary sneak the body out? One of the dirty dozed? Coulda been a grave robber. Or……or he really did rise from the dead. Either way, Christianity was born.
What is with people and their damn categories anyway? Just yesterday a friend of mine said to me, “Oh, you’re an existentialist? Does that mean you’re an Atheist?” Just the question itself made me chuckle. As usual I attempted to explain.” Well Existentialism is a philosophy that excludes the necessity of God from my life. What I mean is whether he or she does or doesn’t exist has no effect on my life so I don’t give it much thought. For my part though, I don’t believe in God the way in which you do, so I guess by your definition I would be an Atheist.“ His next question magically transformed my chuckle into a laugh, “So then, that means you’re not a practicing Atheist, right?” WTF??? How exactly does one practice to not believe in something. Did I become a practicing Anti-Santatite when I stopped believing in Santa Claus? Athletes practice. Musicians practice. Lawyers and doctors practice. (I know right? I don’t want a doctor that still has to practice either, but just go with it) Atheist pretty much have it mastered by the time they say no I don’t believe in God. No practice necessary. I don’t need to attend service and sing songs about not praising anyone, I don’t need to go through any ritualistic behavior like snake handling, or ganja smoking like Rastafarians. I admit the ganja ritual sounds cool, but I don’t need to practice that either. I had that all figured out in the early 70’s. I once practiced playing the piano until I figured out how badly I suck at it. Then I stopped practicing. So I guess I’m still a pianist, just not a practicing one.
I get it, certain categories give you an insight into the person. But it can be misleading. I have been called a hippie. Originally meant to lump me into a group. Long dirty hair, smelly and unbathed body, pot smoking environmentally aware peace lover , communist, socialist, and so on. You dig it, I know you have been lumped into some sort of category. There are o friggen many of them. Its kinda like the zodiac. Every person will find some character traits in their prospective sign. Why? Cause they make generalizations. That’s what categorizing does, it sticks you in box of generalizations. Many people place others in boxes in a lame attempt to make themselves somehow superior. A good example in America is the “Gay marriage” debate. And here’s some of those Christians again, shouting how god called homosexuality an aberration. They call themselves Christians so they can feel like the superior religion, the one making decisions for everything. Turn your cheeks guys, its not gay marriage its marriage. Its about love not sex. I don’t have gay friends, I have friends who happen to be gay. I don’t introduce anyone as my hetero sexual friend so why should I introduce anyone as my gay friend?
Point is too many of us pre-judge based on beliefs or looks. Okay I confess, every date I have ever been on (while fully conscious) was at first based on attraction. Something about the person attracted me, either esthetically or sexually. I chose to pursue them based on looks. But any long term relation hip was based on mutual interest’s and content of integrity as it pertained to how they viewed me. It’s hard sometimes, some of our pre-conceptions are so deeply ingrained in us its almost impossible to disregard them. They have been hammered into our minds since birth. Boys don’t cry or play with dolls. Fat kids are just pigs that eat too much. Girls should look for husbands when they grow up, and learn how to take care of the home. We are put on overload of generalizations and prejudices from our parents and other authority figures. Hopefully we become intelligent enough to regurgitate the really mean and hurtful ones and not pass them on to our kids. Not easy. I grew my Moms finger pointer and I raised my voice like my Dad more often than I would have hoped, but I gave my best attempt to instill a sense of individuality and integrity in my kids. It wasn’t easy when my son stood up to me after heated disagreements, but didn’t harbor anger. I turned away and smiled and thought, “My boy is growing up.”
If anything, make a consorted effort to not judge. It may not be easy, but this world is getting crazy. Over-crowed, high tech, fast paced and more dangerous every day. Every hour. Give the next generation a fighting chance by teaching with patience and tolerence. Let them grow. If we can’t figure out a way to appreciate each other free of preconceived notions our warring angry attitudes will end our reign as the most intelligent species on earth.………Peace